I was not in a good frame of mind the next day. I was tired of feeling hot, dehydrated, stinky…and my eye hurt. I put in a new pair of contacts, and that seemed to help some.
I didn’t see one person on the trail that day. I also knew from looking at the forecast that rain was coming. I haven’t mentioned that the bugs have been really BAD, lately! I am bug-bite ridden from mosquitoes and other stinging insects we don’t have in Arkansas. The gnats have been horrible. They are constantly hovering in front of my eyes, and then they dive bomb into my eyeball. The Daddy long legs, and these huge black ants are always trying to get into my tent, and they DO! Can’t tell you how many I have had to catch and release from my tent.
To add insult to injury, I hadn’t been hiking long, when I came to a flooded area on the trail. There was no way around it. I had to go through it. It looked like a nasty, brown pond that was overflowing and flooding the area. It was disgusting and creepy. It was ankle deep in most parts of it. That was the end of my ‘new’ shoes! It did me in! It was the last straw.
After I made it through, I started hatching a plan to find a motel. I was desperate , and I didn’t want to stay in my tent during the coming thunderstorm. I went through an area where there had been a forest fire, and sat down on a burned log. I had a very bad cell signal, but I tried to look up hotel prices online. I finally called Bud (multiple times, due to my bad cell service) and told him I needed to stay in a hotel. The closest town was 2.5 miles off trail. We found a discounted price by reserving the room online.
It was still so hot! The 2.5 mile hike off trail toward town was interminable. I had to walk on the side of a highway and over an overpass to get there. It was SO worth it!
Happy Fourth of July! Though the room was still expensive, we got it at a greatly discounted rate. Apparently people don’t stay in motels very much on the Fourth of July, thus the discounted rate! We usually stay at the Super 8, and that is my idea of ‘nice’. This was a fairly new hotel, and smelled new. The bed was super comfy with a comforter and several fancy bed spreads. It was like laying on a cloud!
The shower–oh my! You will never know how wonderful a shower can feel until you have gone 4-6 days without one in the sweltering heat, and have put on sweat-dampened clothes each morning!
I luxuriated in the bed, watching the Weather Channel and Fox News while sipping my 7 Up on the rocks (out of a GLASS!)
It rained hard, with wind, thunder and lightning for about 4-5 hours that night. I had the best sleep I’d had in days!
Mile Marker 1183.4